In this year’s Australian Open, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic is bidding to become the second man in history to win at least nine major championship crowns at the same tournament, after Rafael Nadal, who has won 13 Roland Garros titles. Nadal and Roger Federer are both tied on a record 20 Grand Slam singles crowns. But does Novak feel the pressure of getting ahead of some of his famous opponents?

“I respect all of my opponents’ records,” Novak told ATP Tour. “[Roger and Rafa] are legends of our sport, and I admire them a lot. They have positively affected my game and my growth, my development, and all my success wouldn’t be what it is if these two guys were not there.”

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“So I have had tremendous rivalries with these two guys and we still keep on going. But I don’t want any of their success, if you know what I mean. I’m not jealous of their success or anything like that. I try to build my own career and my own success,” the 17-time major champion further said to the tennis website.

When asked about his record-breaking career, Djokovic said: “I have been fortunate, without a doubt, to experience a lot of success and break records in our sport that I obviously love and am very passionate about. Of course, I am always motivated and inspired to achieve big goals and break records.”

The 33-year-old Serbian will soon break Roger Federer’s record for most weeks at No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on 8 March. Djokovic has spent 307 weeks in the top spot, with all-time leader Federer on 310 weeks.

“I have been very transparent about the fact that one of my biggest goals is to try to reach the No. 1 all-time weeks record, and I’m getting closer and closer to that one,” said Djokovic. “Obviously, that’s kind of a lifetime achievement for me and Grand Slams, as well. Of course, I think I have managed to be very consistent at the [ATP] Masters 1000 events and win a lot of titles there. Those are the biggest events that we have on the Tour other than Grand Slams.”

Djokovic has won a record 36 ATP Masters 1000 titles — one more than Nadal (35) — from his very first at the 2007 Miami Open presented by Itau to the 2020 Internazionali BNL d’Italia crown in September last year.

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